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Class 59/1, 59/2 order deliveries

From the beginning of this week (May 13th 2024) there will be a short break in order processing and deliveries for the Revolution Class 59/1 and 59/2 models (and other recently ordered models such as 00 gauge Carolines) as one of our small team is taking on holiday.

In addition we will not be sending out Lokpilot pre-mapped E24 decoders and balance payment requests.

Simon, our Customer Service Manager will continue to address any problems with received models. If you are unfortunate enough to have an issue please contact him using the email address in your instructions.

We realise many customers are eagerly awaiting their models – especially given the very favourable reviews in the press and online – however we are only a very small team and we need a break from time to time too!

We’d like to thank all our customers for their patience and understanding, and expect order processing and dispatch to resume at the beginning of June.

Of course if you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers, most of whom have received their stocks now.

Rainbow Railways

In addition our limited edition ‘First and Last’ twin packs of Class 59/2s 59201 and 59206 in attractive National Power livery are now in stock with Rainbow Railways and available to purchase.

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Take Five! Revolution offers articulated Arbel car carriers

Revolution Trains is offering the imposing 5-piece articulated WIA ‘Sefoorss’ car carriers as its next wagon in OO and N.

Photo: Foulger Rail used under Creative Commons

CAD work on the model is complete, and the order book is opening imminently, with our usual great value EarlyBird price available to encourage early orders.

OO WIA CAD image

The Prototype

60 five-unit sets were ordered by BR’s Railfreight Distribution sector ahead of the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994.

They were designed to offer complete protection and, being fully enclosed, meant that new cars could be shipped between the UK and continental Europe without needing to be waxed, saving time and money.

Brand new WIA units lined up at Tonbridge. Photo: Paul Wade.

Initially they were operated by Auto Care Europe, a partnership comprising RfD, SNCB and Cobelfret. Some outer wagons were adorned with the ACE logo and car maker markings too. On privatisation ownership passed to EWS and from around 2007 the DB Schenker (now DB) logo was added to the intermediate cars of some sets.

Photo: Mark Saunders
Photo: CA850 used under Creative Commons.

Though it is not immediately apparent from the outside, the wagons are double-decked and the entire roof canopy can be raised or lowered as one unit to aid loading and unloading.

In railfreight terms cars are light, but high volume, so the wagons are designed to maximise the use of space and completely fill the loading gauge, hence the angled contours of the roofs. Articulation is chosen as it both reduces costs, but cutting the number of bogies required, but also simplifies loading and unloading as cars can easily be driven the full length of the train.

Photo: Foulger Rail Photos-Creative Commons

The Model

The model features our usual refinements including separately fitted brake parts and articulation units designed to allow operation down to curves of radius 2. We’d like to thanks DB for their assistance and support in researching the model.

The OO CAD is complete and the N gauge CAD is under development.

The articulation units have been designed to allow the model to comfortably negotiate R2 curves, and for added realism the customer will have the option, for the tail end car, of replacing the tension-lock coupler with a cosmetic air pipe, in either the loose or stowed position, and a control box moulding that clips into the NEM pocket to recreate the look of the real thing.

We expect to open the order book soon, with options including original RfD blue, ACE blue and DB + DB Schenker branded units. Tooling is expected to start shortly with the models ready to ship in Q2-3 2025 depending on orders.

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Revolution Class 59 – let there be lights!

Revolution Trains has delivered Class 59/0 locomotives to pre-order customers, and we are now working our way through those with balance payments due.

The first tranche of DC Silent and DCC Sound models are entering service on customers’ layouts, and we also have stocks of the dedicated ESU Lokpilot E24 silent decoders that are required for DCC users to enjoy the full suite of lighting features we have designed into this model.

The new E24 interface, which is set to be adopted as Next 28 in due course, was chosen because Next-18 was simply unable to offer the complete lighting options used by the prototype.

We have had some customers ask us about correct lighting for their models, so we have prepared these notes.

Class 59/0 lighting

The Class 59/0 locomotives operate with all headlights and marker lights on during both daytime and nighttime running as shown below. 59003, which operated abroad and is now owned by GBRf, is also fitted with an additional marker light above the cab windows.

When running light locomotive, the Class 59/0s show a pair of red tail lights at the back; again these are represented on the model however they can be turned off and on at each end by DC users using the switches on the DCC blanking plate and by DCC users with F3.

DCC users have additional lighting functions that allow them to replicate the locomotives when shunting. For this purpose the headlights are usually turned off, with just the marker lights left on, to avoid dazzling ground staff and as an indication that the locomotive is not about to leave for the main line. This mode can be selected with F6.

DCC users can also turn directional cab interior lights on using F4, but please note they turn off automatically when the locomotive begins to move as regulations dictate they can only be lit when the locomotive is stationary.

If any of your light aspects are not lit then please contact us using the email address in the instructions as this is not correct and indicates a failed LED.

CLASS 59/1 lighting

The Class 59/1 and Class 59/2 locomotives were built after the introduction of BMAC lighting clusters as standard on British locomotives, and so have different lighting functions.

DC users will have the models correctly lit for daytime running, which (from the driving position) has the right headlight and left marker light lit, and when running light locomotive red tail lights illuminated.

As with the Class 59/0 there are additional lighting functions available to DCC users, including shunt mode (marker lights at each corner only lit) and in addition a night mode, which sees the right side marker light and left side headlight switched on.

As with the Class 59/0 models DCC users can also turn the directional cab interior lights on when the loco is stationary.

Retailer exclusives

Our Class 59/0 retailer exclusives – 59003 in both versions of GBRf livery with Rails of Sheffield and 59003 in Mendip Rail livery with Kernow Model Rail Centre – have been delivered and are in stock now.

Kernow Model Rail Centre’s exclusive 59101 in revised ARC livery and Rainbow Railways’ ‘First and Last’ twin pack of 59201 and 59206 in National Power livery will arrive with the rest of the Class 59/1 and /2 models.

Class 59/1 and Class 59/2 deliveries

We asked the factory to double check the nameplates in the accessory bags for the Class 59/1 and 59/2 models and this has been done, with the locomotives expected in the next 2-3 weeks. Please note that again fully paid-up customers will receive their orders first while we send out balance payment requests. Please give us a chance to work through these before emailing to enquire about your order – we realise everyone is looking forward to receiving their models and we are keen to get them to you and working as fast as is practicable!

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All iN for Alcan PCA tanks in N?

Revolution Trains has just released OO/4mm versions of the attractive Alcan PCA tanks and we invite expressions of interest in production of these tanks in N/2mm.  

Revolution Trains 00 gauge Alcan tanks in original Alcan, Rio Tinto Alcan and Alvance liveries.

We anticipate that the tanks would be produced in quad packs and be priced at a similar level to the OO tanks ie £149.95 per 4 wagons. We’d aim to offer the same liveries as 00 – original Alcan, Alcan debranded, Rio Tinto, Lochaber Liberty and Alvance – subject to sufficient demand.

These wagons have been used since their introduction in 1987-8 to transport alumina from the bulk sea terminal at Blyth to the UK’s only remainng aluminium smelter at Lochaber, near Fort William in Scotland.

When introduce they operated in shortish rakes of around 12 wagons. These were often marshalled into Speedlink or Enterprise services, and in the hands predominantly of class 37s, though class 26, 56 and 60 locos were also used. Following privatisation, the contract was won by EWS (now DB) and 66s began to be used.

Since 2010 the contract has been in the hands of GBRf and, while 66s continue to dominate, occasional traction shortages have seen 37s, 57s and even a class 55 Deltic step in.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of Alcan PCA tanks in N please complete the expression of interest form (it isn’t a commitment to purchase but please be realistic!).  The deadline for expressions of interest is 30 April 2024.

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Class 59 – delivery and invoice updates!

Latest update (8/5/24): from the end of this week there will be a short break in despatching in 59s as one of the small team is on holiday. We will update this page when orders start to be despatched again (plus we update your order status when it has been despatched!).

50% of /1 and /2 orders sent out (all the paid in full up front orders, no deposit/balance orders have been sent yet) as of 10/5/24. 75% of balance invoices for the 59/1s and 59/2s are generated so please resist the urge to send us an email “just to check” – that will only slow things down – thanks!

All 59/0s paid in full in advance despatched, plus all 59/0 deposit+balance orders paid up to 1/4/24 despatched. All 59/0 balance invoices generated.

Just like the real 59s, our models of the 59/0s have arrived before the 59/1 and 59/2 sub-classes! We have just finished checking over samples of each version of Class 59/0s (ie 59001 to 59005 in all liveries) and the first orders have started to be sent out.

Posting orders and change of address

All fully paid orders will be sent out by Royal Mail. If you need to update your address please login to your account on our website and update your delivery address – if you update your address after 15 February 2024 please also send us an email using the Contact Us form otherwise your order might go to your old address.

If you have a balance to pay please see below.

Non-sound DCC ESU Lokpilot decoders

The non-sound DCC ESU Lokpilot decoders arrived with us on 22 February and we will start to post them with 59 orders after Model Rail Scotland.

Order status – has my order been posted?

You can check where we have got to in terms of posting orders (or generating balance invoices) on our Project overview page – sorry to repeat this but every time we send out orders we get emails asking for order updates. Please do not send us emails asking if your order has been posted, it just slows us down! Once your order has been posted your order status will be updated to “Complete” in your account – please give it 7-14 days from when your order is marked as despatched before asking what has happened to your posted order.

If you paid a balance please read the note below!

Balance invoice to pay?

We will start to generate balance invoices for 59/0s only over the next few days. Once your balance is paid we post orders in the order that they were paid ie your order goes into the despatch queue once fully paid.

If you pay a balance invoice then your original deposit is automatically marked as “Complete” and an email is automatically generated saying that your order has been despatched – whilst we send out orders as quickly as we can, the reality is that there are only 1 or 2 of us despatching orders at any one time and we’re not superhuman! The email is automatically generated by our deposit system and we can’t change it – your order is not despatched (despite what the email says) until the balance half of your order is also marked as “Complete”.

What about the class 59/1s and 59/2s and mixed orders?

Unfortunately final production of the 59/1s and 59/2s didn’t quite make it out of the factory before Chinese New Year however we expect both sub-classes shortly and we will update our website as soon as we have a confirmed delivery schedule.

If your order contains both 59/0s and 59/1s or 59/2s we will ship the models separately at no extra cost to you.

If you missed out on ordering direct you should be able to place an order with one of our retailers. Or you can order one of our exclusive 59101 in the brand new Heidelberg Materials livery (as shown above on the production sample!).

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Revolution Bespoke – how does it work?

As you may be aware with the launch of our forthcoming N gauge Class 66 we also announced a new option to allow customers to tailor their models – Revolution Bespoke. Working with our friends at Rainbow Railways we can take factory finished bodyshells and apply individually-tailored livery details (numbers, additional branding or livery elements and nameplates) onto our base liveries.

So far we have offered the following Class 66 sub-classes for bespoke livery application:

  • Colas 66/8 (early bird ended)
  • DRS or GBRf 66/3 (early bird ends 29/02/2024)
  • DRS or GBRf 66/4 (early bird ends 29/02/2024)
  • GBRf ‘original’ livery 66/7 (early bird ended)
  • DB 66/0 (early bird ends 08/03/2024)
  • Freightliner Genesee & Wyoming orange – there will be no bespoke option for as 66623 is currently the only Freightliner 66 in that livery with those lights and body details.
  • Remaining GBRf 66/7s – Europorte variations and “standard” GBRf livery variant (66798 only) (early bird ends 12/03/2024)
  • Freightliner green 66/5s and 66/6s (early bird ends 20/03/2024)

The final batch to upload are the EWS 66s. We have been through thousands of images of 66s to match the livery variations with the body shell details that we’re offering in our first run of 66s (so that you don’t have to!). Having said which we’re sure that we will have missed some combinations – if you find a version that you would like and that we’re not offering please let us know and if we have the correct combination of details we will add it.

Early bird pricing

As we’re releasing the bespoke options in a rolling programme we guarantee that there will be at least 4 weeks of early-bird pricing for each version – starting from when the bespoke option is published and ending as noted above. We will update the list above as we publish new livery options.

How to order?

Revolution Bespoke will only be available direct from Revolution (standard range items are available to all our retailers). Use the dropdowns on the relevant model page to select the livery variation, number and DC/DCC ready or DCC sound (plus in some cases named or un-named) – once you select all the options the image will update to the relevant livery variation so that you can see what you will get.

Please note that once production has started we can’t cancel or change your loco as these will be bespoke models produced to order (statutory rights still apply).

How it works?

The list of available variations all represent real combinations of livery and details (we have been through a lot of research to enable this!). The base livery will be factory finished, but the final touches eg the side numbers and changes to logos or additional logos will be printed by Rainbow Railways along with any finishing touches eg etched nameplates.  

When will I receive my model?

The Revolution Bespoke models will finished by Rainbow Railways once the models arrive so will arrive with customers later than the standard versions to allow time for customisation. We are aiming to start production of the 66s in April 2024 with the models currently due to arrive late-Summer-Autumn 2024.

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Revolution to supply pre-mapped non-sound decoders for N Class 59

With the Revolution Trains N gauge Class 59 locomotives in the final stages of production we are aware that some DCC customers will not be familiar with the new E24 decoder interface that the locomotive uses.

DCC Sound models are supplied with the fully configured decoder fitted, however to supply the needs of those who prefer DCC Silent we have also decided to stock a limited number of pre-mapped ESU E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders.

Pre-production samples shown

Revolution chose the new E24 design because it offers significantly greater functionality than the existing Next 18 standard. In the coming months it is anticipated that E24 will be adopted as the new Next 28 norm.

The E24 allows us to offer fully functioning day and night running, working cab interior lights, along with two shunt/yard modes (marker lights and no headlights) and independently controlled tail lights for light engine, top’n’tail operation or parked mode. This level of functionality is simply not possible on Next 18.

The E24 decoder is also smaller. This makes it easier to fit in N gauge models and means that more internal space can be used for weight, enhancing the performance of the locomotive.

Fitting the decoder is a simple matter of removing the centre cover and blanking plate and pressing the E24 decoder into position. All models are supplied with full instructions.

The ESU E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders available from Revolution Trains are pre-configured to ensure the lighting functions on your model work according to the function list supplied with your model.

Please note that you must select the correct type of decoder for your model – there are two versions of decoder:

  • Class 59/0 (version 1)
  • Class 59/1 and 59/2 (version 2) – the 59/1 and 59/2 share the same lighting decoder

They can be ordered for £36.95 via our shop.

Depending on order numbers we are hoping to send the E24 Lokpilot 5 Nano decoders to customers with their models, and the first batch of Class 59s are expected shortly. If you have pre-ordered and not paid in full you will receive a request to pay your balance in due course – please do not contact us about payment until you have received this message.

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Revolution and Trains4U twin-set for the forces

Popular Peterborough-based retailer Trains4U has commissioned Revolution Trains to produce an exclusive twin pack featuring the two GBRf ‘military’ Class 66 locomtives – 66723 ‘Chinook’ and 66775 ‘HMS Argyll’ in N gauge.

The models will be sold as a pair in an exclusive presentation box and every sale will include a donation to charities linked to the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.

66723 (ZA723) Chinook

66723 was named ‘Chinook’ in 2008 in honour of the RAF’s 7, 18 and 27 squadrons, based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, which is the home of the Royal Air Force’s Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter.

When named the locomotive was fitted with cast nameplates which also featured the three squadron crests and an outline of the Chinook, and was in the First livery.

66723 Nameplate. Photo courtesy Rob Reedman/Creative Commons

In 2017 the locomotive was repainted into GBRf livery, retaining the name but gaining the large number ZA723 and a large orange Chinook silhouette on the bodyside, along with the RAF Ensign on the left cabside.

Photo courtesy Mick Page.

66723 was built in 2006, and was one of the first batch of GBRf Tier 1 (low emission) 5-door locomotives. Revolution’s Class 66 tooling allows for this variant, with the combination of bug-eye headlights, extended cooler group grilles, revised bogie with lifeguard deformation cut-outs and a smaller fuel tank.

Revolution 66723 CAD variation

66775 (F321) HMS Argyll

66775 was built in 2015 and is one of the very last batch of Class 66 locomitives built at Muncie, Indiana.

66775 at market Harborough. Photo courtesy David Page/Creative Commons.
66775 at Eastleigh in 2017. Photo courtesy Dave Kirwin.

In 2017 in a ceremony at HM Naval Base Devonport the locomotive was named after the Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll. Along with the cast nameplate the locomotive was adorned with the ship’s number, F321, and a replica of her funnel crest on each side of the no. 1 end cab.

Photo courtesy Steve Knight/Creative Commons.

Like 66723, 66775 is a Tier 1 5-door locomotive, however having been built in the United States, not Canada, it has significant variations including the revised cab vent position, front panel seam and revised 2-part repositioned BMAC lights.

Revolution 66775 CAD variation.

Like all Revolution’s forthcoming Class 66 models, these will feature the ESU E24 Nano decoder interface, allowing for fully authentic light and sound features.

Although not available in DCC Sound form, all models incorporate a factory-fitted speaker, allowing for a simple plug-and-play sound upgrade.

Revolution’s Ben Ando said: “Revolution has previously supported the Royal British Legion, through sales of its ‘Poppy Pendolino’, and we are delighted to be able to do the same for other important charities in the military family.”

Trains4U owner Gareth Helliwell said: “GBRf has a major presence in Peterborough and I am delighted to be able to offer these locomotives which are a familiar sight across the network.  In addition I am keen to recognise our debt to the armed forces and we are guaranteeing a minimum donation of at least £1500 to each of these good causes.”

Each twin pack retails at £325.00 and can be ordered exclusively from Trains4U, with delivery expected Q3/4. We hope to have decorated samples to show in the coming weeks.

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Revolution goes green with Heidelberg

Revolution Trains has agreed a licence with Freightliner and Heidelberg Materials to offer newly repainted 59101 in its striking new green livery.

59101 in the sidings at Whatley Quarry in early December 2023.

The locomotive had been in Hanson colours since the late 1990s, but parent company Heidelberg Materials recently announced a complete rebranding of the company, and 59101 was selected as the recipient of the new colours.

The repaint was carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh, and following its completion Revolution Trains was invited to the locomotive’s Whatley home depot to check colours and measure all the relevant logos and lettering.

After its arrival on shed in the early hours of Tuesday December 5th, we were given access to the locomotive in the shed at Whatley quarry, then invited to watch as the locomotive left with its first service train – a rake of box wagons bound for West Drayton coal sidings in London.

By happy coincidence the rake included several examples of the JNA ‘Ealnos’ wagons released by Revolution Trains in VTG blue, Mendip Rail silver and Touax deep red.

Revolution has added a limited number of this model to the production run and they are available to pre-order direct from us, in sound and non-sound versions now! We’ve only got a very small number of sound versions but if you miss out on a factory-fitted sound version upgrading the loco to DCC sound is very simple and you can buy the same sound project that we recorded from Legomanbiffo through DC Kits.

Section from the painting diagram for the model.

The 59s are in the final stages of production and are likely to arrive in two batches – the first batch are the 59/0s which are expected in early February (production samples should be with us early next week) followed by the 59/1s and 59/2s after Chinese New Year in late Feb – March.

We’ve got exciting news about the non-sound E24 DCC decoders to come in the next few days.

You can place an order from our online shop now (please don’t mix with other products which will arrive at different times).

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66788 Locomotion 15 announced as first Class 66 exclusive

Revolution Trains, Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield are joining forces to offer 66788 Locomotion 15 as an N gauge exclusive model.

66788 Locomotion 15 at Rivenhall End in 2022. Photograph courtesy David Smith.

The locomotive was named in September 2019 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the opening of Locomotion in Shildon, partner museum to the National Railway Museum in York and home to a large number of historic items from the national collection.

Locomotion has a particular role in highlighting the vital role the railways have had in moving freight, and naming the locomotive in its honour is especially appropriate.

GBRf engineering director Bob Tiller and Head of Locomotion Sarah Price at 66788’s naming ceremony at Shildon.

Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, said “The naming of ‘Locomotion 15’ in 2019 was a wonderful way to celebrate the museum on our 15th anniversary, so I am looking forward to seeing the engine brought to life in miniature.”

The locomotive will join the Railway Icons range, a joint initiative between Locomotion Models and Rails of Sheffield.

Stuart Brown of Locomotion said: “We are thrilled to be working with Revolution Trains for the first time on the first N-Gauge model in the Railway Icons range.”

Revolution’s new Class 66 locomotive will feature the very latest in detailing, light and sound features, and the tooling allows for 66788 to be correctly depicted as the former EWS locomotive 66238 acquired by GBRf in 2018.

The model will feature accurate details including swinghead buckeye coupler and control lever, loco location beacon on the horn grille and original BMAC design lights.  It will not have the distinctive driver cab mirrors as these have been removed by GBRf.

The model can be preordered now from either Locomotion Model or Rails of Sheffield and is priced at £159.95 (DC Silent) or £254.95 (DCC Sound.)

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It’s time for Revolution’s red death!

Revolution Trains Class 66 EP1 sample.

Revolution Trains is offering the Class 66 as its next diesel in N gauge. In a departure from our normal practice, the model has been tooled and samples have been tested and approved with decorated samples imminent.

In addition, we have created Revolution Bespoke – which will allow you to specify your own individually numbered loco when ordering!

The models are being offered in both original 4-door tier 0 (UIC 1) and low emission 5-door tier 1 (UIC 2) versions, and our tooling suite allows for prototypical variations in bodyshells, underframes, bogies, horn grilles, marker lights, tie-down loops, sandboxes, light clusters, buffers and couplers.

This means that we can offer not only the ‘standard’ EWS, Freightliner and GBRf versions but some of the more interesting variants including those repatriated from Europe, with UIC standard features, and the last batch built at Muncie, Indiana, with distinctive cab end recesses.

The prototype

The Class 66 revolutionised railfreight in Britain when it entered service a quarter of a century ago, and there are more than 500 of the type in service. On their introduction in 1998 they rapidly became known as the ‘red death’ as their power and reliability led to the rapid withdrawal of numerous older British Rail types.

The Red Death begins: 66001 at Toton TMD in 1998. Photo: Tim Horn, Creative Commons.

After acquiring Britain’s railfreight businesses in the 1996 rail privatisation, Wisconsin Central’s Ed Burkhardt’s quickly realised that large numbers of powerful, reliable new locomotives were needed if he was to make a success of the fledgling English, Welsh and Scottish Railway.

Having examined the US-built Class 59s, with their unparallelled levels of reliability, he placed an order with EMD for 250 locomotives to a similar design.

Designated Class 66 under TOPS, the new locomotives were faster than the 59s, had a greater range, and were supplied with radial (self-steering) bogies, for reduced track wear. To speed things up the Class 59 ‘outline’ was used as it was known to conform to the British loading gauge – a factor that would significantly reduce the time needed for UK approval and certification.

Since then the design’s versatility and reliability have seen it ordered by most other UK freight operators.

The model

Like the locos ordered by Ed Burkhardt, Revolution’s model builds on our successful Class 59 with many shared chassis parts and a similar specification. This includes photo etched grilles all round, numerous separate body and detail parts and a plethora of tooling options to allow prototypical variations in bodyshell, bogies, lighting arrangements, horn grilles, cab windows, cab interiors and underframes.

Revolution Class 66 sample on ‘Chirk’ by Allen Pearson.

Of more than 500 Class 66s in service in Britain there are only a handful that we cannot offer, and while we are not attempting to produce every version immediately over the coming years, we do look forward to filling the gaps in the options available to N gauge enthusiasts.

Like our Class 59, all Revolution Trains Class 66 locomotives will be supplied with one end superdetailed with full air dam and cosmetic couplers/air pipes at one end and slotted air dam with standard N coupler in NEM pocket at the other, however all models are supplied with duplicate parts so you can configure your model with superdetailing or working couplers at both ends should you prefer.

Liveries

Revolution is offering a selection of locomotives in our standard range including all the main operators. Named locomotives will come with the name printed on the bodyside at 95% size plus photo-etched nameplates for the customer to fit.

66083 – EWS

‘Standard’ EWS version with original BMAC lights, swinghead buckeye couplers and driver cab mirrors. 66083 is still carrying this livery in 2023.

66538 – original Freightliner

With ‘bug’eye’ lights representing second batch ordered by Freightliner. 66538 is still carrying this livery in 2023.

66704 – orginal GBRf

As first batch of seven delivered to GBRf with early logo and BMAC lights. Cab colour golden yellow.

66404 – DRS ‘Compass’

Represents first batch delivered to DRS in 2003 with bug-eye lights.

66128 – DB red with large logo

Depicted in 2016+ condition with revised BMAC lights.

66848 – Colas Rail Freight

With bug-eye lights is one of the locos acquired by Colas from Freightliner.

66795 – GBRf

Ex-Euro loco repatriated from Germany with ‘Euro’ details including extended horn grille, UIC cab interior and rectangular buffers. Supplied with Bescot LDC nameplates. Cab colour bright orange.

66303 – DRS plain blue

Low emission locomotive with modified BMAC lights.

66720 ‘Wascosa’ – GBRf

Low emission version with bug-eye lights and Wascosa branding. Supplied with ‘Wascosa’ nameplates.

66623 – Freightliner Genessee & Wyoming livery

Early G&W repaint from mid-2019, with revised BMAC lights.

66752 ‘The Hoosier State’ – GBRf Europorte livery

First of the last batch of locos built at Muncie, Indiana (which is nicknamed the Hoosier state) with revised details including cab front recess and extended sandboxes.

Please note graphic images are illustrative only.

Introducing ‘Revolution Bespoke…’

In addition Revolution has partnered up with Rainbow Railways to offer a new service so you can order not just the loco you like, but the individual running number you want too.

For a small premium any of our standard livery models can be ordered with your choice of number and, if appropriate, fitted etched nameplates. This work will be carried out by Rainbow Railways after the factory decorated base models are here and you will receive your chosen the locomotive soon after the main production is shipped.

The cost for this is £20 for printed details, £30 for printed details plus fitted photo-etched nameplates.

EWS maroon. Possible numbers: 66004-200. . Can be supplied with DB logo instead of EWS where appropriate.
GBRf blue. Possible numbers 66701-7 GBRf. Can be supplied with original or revised GBRf lettering.
Freightliner original. Possible numbers 66538-81, 66607-22 original Freightliner.
DB red. Possible numbers: 66004-200. Note: model has revised light clusters so is only suitable for refitted locomotives.

Revolution Bespoke also applies to DRS, revised GBRf and Colas versions.

Full options and prices will be available after Warley.

DCC, lights and sound

Like our Class 59, the Class 66 will feature ESU’s new E24 nano decoder. These decoders are smaller than Next 18 but offer significantly more functions, enabling all lights to be individually controlled and enabling us to offer fully prototypical working lights on DCC with directional headlights and marker lights, cab interior lights, two different yard modes for shunting and park mode.

With a nod to the prototype, the DCC decoder socket, and DC lighting switches, are accessed by removing the centre engine panel.

As with our other powered models Revolution is offering DC Silent and DCC Sound versions, with different sound files for the original locomotives and the low emission variants.

Prices and timelines

Because we have already reached the EP sample stage with this model the duration of the pre-order period will be significantly reduced, and we expect to put these models into production soon after Chinese New Year in late February, with delivery expected in late summer/early autumn 2024.

The standard models are available to order until 31 January 2024 at a discounted Earlybird price of £144.95 DC Silent and £239.95 for DCC Sound, after which the price will rise to the MSRP of £159.95 DC Silent or £254.95 for DCC Sound.

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Parcels arriving – Class 128s and the remaining Pendolinos

Updated 18 October 2023.

Our N gauge Class 128s have just arrived and we’ve checked them over in the final part of our normal QC process before shipping them to customers.

Paid in full: if you paid in full you don’t need to do anything, your model should have shipped (and your order status updated).

Paid a deposit: all balance invoices have been sent out. Please note when you pay a balance invoice the website automatically updates the deposit part of your order to “Complete” and sends you an email saying your order has been despatched – this is an automatic software bug that we can’t change. Your order is actually despatched when we mark the balance part of the order as “Complete” ie despatched.

If you need to change your delivery address please update the shipping address in your account but also please send us an email if you changed it since 9 October (otherwise your order might not get updated in time). Thanks!

If you missed out on our pre-orders some of our retailers still have models available to order (they should receive their allocations late this week).

Pendolino remaining batch: we’ve received the remaining Pendolinos (ie the Pride Pendolino and the 11-car full Avanti Pendolino) and will start to send them out on 19/10/23 (as well as generate any balance invoices).

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Limited quantity of Caledonian Sleeper/GBRf Class 92s available to order now

When we decided to produce the Mark 5 sleepers we were conscious that some customers may have missed out on our Class 92s in Caledonian Sleeper and GBRf liveries (both of which are used on the sleepers), so we decided to keep stock of a small quantity for release when the Mk5 sleepers arrived.

We have got very limited stocks of the following:

  • 92018 in Caledonian Sleeper teal (DC/DCC ready and DCC Sound versions)
  • 92023 in Caledonian Sleeper teal (DC/DCC ready only)
  • 92032 in GBRf Europorte livery (DC/DCC ready and DCC Sound versions)
  • 92043 in GBRf revised livery (DC/DCC ready only)

In particular the GBRf and DCC sound versions have extremely limited quantities.

The stock is available to order now from our online shop but please don’t mix with other items.

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Mk5 sleepers – a bit of a drag?

Revolution has received the first consignment of its Mk5 coaches. These are the Caledonian Sleeper versions; the TPE sets are due within the next few weeks.

Chapter and verse – Caledonian Sleeper book sets are here

Models have been dispatched for all pre-paid customers (though some international orders may not have arrived) and we are now working our way through balance payments to fufil remaining orders.

Retailers will be receiving their models soon too.

In the box

All models are supplied with full instructions, a ‘lighting rod’ to operate the interior and tail lighting, working Dellner-style couplers for those who desire added realism and a pair of ‘long’ NEM couplers for use on outer coaches coupled to locomotives that do not have kinematic couplers.

Marshalling your train

In addition to the instructions included we have designed the guides below to enable customers to marshall their trains prototypically.

Caledonian Sleeper runs two distinct services: The Lowlander and The Highlander.

The Lowlander links London Euston with Glasgow and Edinburgh. The train comprises two half-sets and splits (or reforms when running south) at Carstairs.

Revolution Lowlander sets have the code RT-CS-LS-Mk5 packX and can be marshalled as shown.

Haulage is usually Caledonian Sleeper or GBRf Class 92 throughout.

The Highlander links London Euston with Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness. This train runs from Euston to Edinburgh where it splits into the various sections, and Fort William trains have two additional day coaches added. The split between sleepers for Aberdeen or Fort William also varies to take account of seasonal fluctuations and tourist traffic.

Revolution Highlander sets have the code RT-CS-HS-Mk5 packX and can be marshalled as shown.

Haulage is Class 92 between London and Edinburgh, then Class 73/9s (often assisted by a GBRf Class 66) take over for the non-electrified lines north.

Excess drag on some wheelsets

We have sent out thousands of Mk5 coaches and inevitably some customers have reported issues – primarily excessive drag on some wheelsets.

Designing smooth running bogies with inside bearings and power pick-ups is a challenge in N gauge; the Revolution models feature metal half-axles in spacer muffs running in metal ring bearings in an effort to overcome this. 

On our test samples the performance was very smooth, however it is possible that in mass production the alignment of some wheelsets or components may be mis-shapen or just badly fitted. The tolerances involved are hundredths of a millimetre.

Ideally there would be no problems at all, but if you do have difficulties here are some suggestions:

  • Let the models run. Several customers have reported that after a period of running in the drag decreases rapidly as the axles and bearings burnish and settle.
  • We have found that removing any stiff wheelsets and reseating them can often free them up (the wheelsets simply unclip from the bogie and then clip back in.)
  • Check the pick-ups. Some customers have found small burrs which prevent them seating properly in the bogie frame. Correcting this can improve running significantly.
  • Check the back-to-back dimensions. If the wheels are slightly too close together they can ‘pinch’ the pick ups, exacerbating any drag.
  • We recommend that you check that the wheelsets are free running before putting 16 coaches behind your favourite loco. If you’re running-in your coaches as suggested above we suggest doing them in small batches. 
  • Please do not apply any form of liquid lubricant, as such chemicals may react with the plastic of the bogies.
  • Anyone experiencing ongoing problems, or who is nervous about making such checks themselves, is urged to contact our customer support manager for assistance using the email address in the instructions.
  • Also, while we do our best to follow social media it is inevitable that we will miss some posts and information. If you have found issues/solutions with our Mk5s that we may not be aware of please email our support line so we can add that experience to the pool of knowledge.

Needless to say we want to ensure all customers are happy with their models and will continue to investigate all issues and offer solutions.

We have also asked the factory to check the pick ups and bogies on the Mk5 TPE sets currently finishing production to hopefully ensure similar issues are not found with these models when they are delivered.

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Absolutely PFA-bulous deliveries…

Following the recent arrival of our PFAs, all balance invoices have been generated – if you were expecting a balance invoice but haven’t received it by email then please check your account on our website. If you can’t see a balance invoice (and you paid a deposit rather than in full) then please get in contact with us through the contact form on our website. If you pay your balance by Wednesday 13 September then your order will go out in the first batch of deliveries!

PFAs in N

If you need to change your delivery address please update the shipping address in your account but also please send us an email if you changed it since 11 September (otherwise your order might not get updated in time). Thanks!

If you missed out on our pre-orders some of our retailers still have models available to order (they should receive their allocations early next week).

Please note when you pay a balance invoice the website automatically updates the deposit part of your order to “Complete” and sends you an email saying your order has been despatched – this is an automatic software bug that we can’t change. Your order is actually despatched when we mark the balance part of the order as “Complete” ie despatched.

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Revolution at TINGS – again!

Revolution Trains will once again be attending the International N Gauge Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre this coming weekend – September 9th-10th.

We are on stand 18 in the nearside corner of the hall – if you turn a hard right as you enter and keep walking you can’t miss us!

As ever we are very much looking forward to meeting and chatting with old friends and new and showing off the progress on our many N gauge projects.

On display will be EP samples of our forthcoming Class 175 and 180 units and 1938 stock tube trains, along with decorated samples of our upcoming Cartic-4 car carriers.

The show also gives enthusiasts the opportunity to see up close samples of those models about to go into production, such as the Class 313 units (including those available exclusively from Rails of Sheffield with T7 translator cars), Borail, Mullet, Parr and Super Tench wagons and FNA-D nuclear flask carriers.

But wait! There’s more! We will also be happy to chat in person on progress of other previously announced models including the Class 120 Swindon units, IHA steel coil carrier, K-type Pullmans and Class 377/387 Electrostar models, plus anything else we may have up our sleeves.

And remember, we are invariably far more indiscreet in person than online – provided it isn’t blurted all over the web we are usually happy to share other more secret plans face-to-face to help customers with their budgeting.

PFA and gypsum container orders: customers wishing to collect their PFAs and/or gypsum container packs will be able to do so if you let us know by 2100 on Thursday 7 September. Shipments and balance invoices will begin to be sent out shortly, but if you would like to collect your order(s) at TINGS this weekend please complete the short form here. You will be able to pay any balance due at the show.

Prize draw: as a final incentive we will be offering tickets for a charity prize draw to raise funds for the Railway Children charity with some wonderful prizes (including some no longer available models) – please look out for the separate post on the prize draw (tickets will be available online and at the show)!

See you at the show!

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PFA and gypsum container order(s) collection at TINGS 2023

Customers wishing to collect their PFAs and/or gypsum container packs will be able to do so if you let us know by 2100 on Thursday 7 September.

PFAs in N

Shipments and balance invoices will begin to be sent out shortly, but if you would like to collect your order(s) at TINGS this weekend please complete the short form here (please make sure you click on Submit at the end of the form, you should get confirmation of submission on screen). You will be able to pay any balance due at the show (we will refund any postage paid after collection).

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Nuclear secrets…

With our FNA-D nuclear flask wagons now in stock here with Revolution and with retailers we have received some enquiries from customers about the variations in hazchem panels applied to the models.

When loaded, the wagons are required to run with panels indicating the contents – for these wagons this is 3329 7 fissile nuclear material, which comes with assorted regulations for loading, transportation and unloading, and showing the Radsafe information line number for use if necessary.

In addition, the wagons can carry the appropriate ADR/EU orange hazard labels with the same 3329 code, though this is not always present.

When running empty – either to a nuclear site, for repair or maintenance, or as a barrier wagon or spare, the panels do not carry any warnings at all, and to enable our customers to replicate this we are offering one wagon – version 3 – which does not have the warnings present. This table shows the panels on each of the models on offer.

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Vive la France! French steel carriers next in 00 and N!

Revolution Trains is offering the IHA ‘Sfhimmns’ canvas covered steel coil carriers as its next wagon model in 00 and N.

CAD is complete and the models in both scales are in tooling, however the 00 model is slightly more advanced than the N gauge version.

The stubby design, with its characteristic platform at one end above the buffers to allow staff to cross safely from one side of a train to the other, is a familiar sight on steel trains and often intermixed with other designs such as the Thrall-built BRA/BYA ‘Nissen hut’ design.

66303 on Dee Marsh – Margam service. Photo courtesy Roger Cutts.
Tata Steel Clayton battery hybrid shunter 930 shunts IHA wagons at Knuckle Yard, South Wales. This locomotive type is also being offered by Revolution Trains. Courtesy Clayton Equipment Ltd.

Photos: Clockwise from left – 66007 on Margam-Wembley enterprise, 2009. Courtesy Robert Catterson; GBRf 66755 with Grain-Margam service; 47212 in RfD livery at Kingswinford Junc. in 1995. Courtesy Dave Gomersall.

47805 ‘Talisman’ and 47769 ‘Resolve’ on hire to Colas with a short train for Dollands moor, 209. Courtesy David Smith.
Colas 56113 with imported steel from Boston bound for the Midlands in 2016. Courtesy GarstangpostT21.

There are around 250 of the type in use for transporting high-grade steel on a variety of flows. These include domestic steel from South Wales to destinations in the midlands, north and south-east of England and via the Channel tunnel to customers in France, Belgium and Holland.

IHA wagons at Botlek in the Netherlands. The smaller British loading gauge is very apparent in this image courtesy of Paul van Duin.

These wagons are also used to feed imported steel from ports on the east coast and Thames estuary to steel terminals inland.

Left: 08507 shunts IHAs over the swing bridge at Boston Docks. Courtesy 6089 Gardener. Right: IHAs at Wolverhampton Steel Terminal. Courtesy Stephen Burdett.

Protoype history

The first batch of 48 wagons were built by Fauvet Girel in 1991, registered in France and given the UIC code Sfhimms; the ‘f’ in the code signifying their suitability in the smaller British loading gauge. Further batches were built in 1993 and 1998.

There are very minor variations between batches and these are accounted for in the Revolution tooling.

Now owned by wagon leasing company Ermewa, the wagons have red bogies, underframes and ends and grey canvas covers.  Some have yellow discs painted in the covers signifying they are reserved for domestic traffic only.

Recently, as the canvas covers came due for renewal, wagon owners Ermewa began adding its branding more prominently.

These graphics are for illustrative purposes only and not approved painting diagrams.

A further batch of similarly-coded wagons was built in 2008-9 by Astra Rail (now Greenbrier) in Romania and finished in GE (now Touax) blue livery, however these are to a different design and are not the subject of this model.

Model features

The wagons feature our usual levels of detailing with lots of separate parts and photo-etched platforms at one end and NEM coupler pockets in kinematic mounts.

The models are also designed for easy conversion to EM or P4 standards, with axles set at 26mm. The brake blocks on the model will be supplied correct for its 00 wheels, but additional mounting holes have been incorporated into the frames to make widening them straightforward.

Formations and destinations…

During our research we have identified numerous flows these wagons are used on however it is quite possible there are others we have not come across.

The majority of the flows on the diagram are now operated by DB, however the Margam-Dee Marsh and Grain-Llanwern contracts are now in the hands of GBRf, on occasion using hired in locomotives. The Trostre-Tilbury trains and those carrying imported steel from Boston use Colas traction, often Class 56.

One reason for offering these wagons, as our popular sample consists diagram shows, is that they tie in very nicely with other models already available – such as the BYA from Bachmann, IGA from Heljan, IWA from Dapol and JSA from Accurascale, enabling enthusiasts to depict more authentic steel traffic.

We would like to thank Ermewa and DB/Axiom for permission to use their logos and IP and their generous help with information and facilitating close up inspections of the real thing.

We are hoping to have first samples of these models for evaluation very soon, with delivery expected by summer next year.

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Revolution and Rails 313 exclusives

Rails of Sheffield have teamed up with Revolution Trains to offer three exciting exclusive models for N gauge enthusiasts, based on the forthcoming Class 313 units.

The models are Network Rail’s 313121 test train in yellow livery, Southern’s 313201 in revised BR Blue and a twin-pack containing the Arlington Fleet Services T7 vehicles used as translators for multiple unit moves.

313121 was converted in 2013 at Wembley to enable engineers to test the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) and painted into a yellow livery. 

The former commuter unit was chosen for this role as it can operate on either overhead and third rail power and has can be used on restricted gauge routes.

313121 at Camden Town. Photo Roger Marks under Creative Commons.

In 2017 Class 313 pioneer 313201 (former 313001) was repainted by Beacon Rail and Govia into BR Blue (with with grey doors to conform to modern accessibility regulations) to mark more than four decades of service given by the class. 

313201 also took part in the recent ‘Class 313 Farewell’ railtour from Brighton to Portsmouth and Hastings recently.

In 2014 two outer driving cars from unit 508207 were converted at Arlington in Eastleigh into translator units coded T7 to enable locomotives with standard hook and shackle couplers to move multiple units fitted with tightlock couplers.

The two vehicles, 64664 and 64707, were painted bright mint green and named Liwet and Labezerin in 2016.  Often seen travelling to and from deliveries behind a GBRf Class 66, the pair offer a complete train in a single box.

Our models feature a working tightlock couplers at the cab ends and standard N gauge couplers, with working directional red tail lights, at the non-cab ends. The models are expected to ship in Q1-2 2024. 

Revolution will be closing the order book for its own Class 313s at the end of September, to allow customers to see the decorated samples on our stand at The International N Gauge Show, after which the models are still likely to be available from retailers but at a higher price.

Model photos of 313121, 313201 and T7 cars courtesy of Rails of Sheffield and Tom Everitt.